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Ersula's History Shop

The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks

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In Randall Robinson's view, racial problems can't be solved until America is willing to face up to the devastating effects of slavery and educate all Americans, black and white, about the history of Africa and its people.

In his recent book, the highly successful Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America, Robinson makes a stirring call to form the next legion of African-American leadership. Now, in The Debt, he argues that reclaiming the lost history of Africa and African-Americans will help provide a much-needed springboard for solving many of today's problems-from finding new leadership within the black community to developing meaningful educational programs to helping black people empower themselves economically. Robinson also argues that the United States must be prepared to make restitution to African-Americans for 246 years of slavery, and the century of de jure racial discrimination that followed, via major educational programs and economic development. Robinson offers a solution-oriented approach to controversial issues of social justice in a style that is both personal and informative.

Washington Post Book World - Frank H. Wu

Robinson is respected for having brought the political influence of the black diaspora to bear on U.S. foreign policy toward Africa. He has met another challenge here: His book is easy to read....His engaging and conveys his estrangement from the mainstream.....He continues an important conversation. Democratic deliberation helps create a society in which we are all equal stakeholders. The process is as valuable as the outcome. In that context, even if reparations are a lost cause, they are a noble cause.